Saturday, June 20, 2009

Green Yachts

Being Green once meant being something like a Hippie, a rebel against the machine and the lust for money, a person in search of an authentic experience in an uncorrupted world.

It certainly did not mean you owned a yacht. How times have changed!

Now Green has become a ubiquitous marketing term for everything Good. Everything can be Green, from fruit to jobs. Even big, expensive boats. No less an authority than Yachting magazine has an article advising recreational yacht owners on steps they can take to make their boats environmentally friendly.

This in the same issue where they advertise the eight best watches for yachtsmen. Average price: $11,941.

What does all this Green Goodness mean for the future of being Green? Perhaps the term is on its way to death by overuse. If everyone and everything is Green, what's left to feel smug about?

Another possibility is that an earnest discussion of how to go Green in a yachting magazine is a sign of the success of the environmental movement. It has reached an important target market. If it can convince the kind of people who own luxury yachts and buy $11,000 watches that they are part of something Green and Good, it will have a much easier time getting them to make contributions.

It's like telling a successful businessman that his success is a sign of election by God, then asking if he'd like to return God's favor.

One final possibility: the Green movement has gone mainstream. So mainstream, in fact, that people want to be Green, so long as it does not mean a major disruption in the way they live. Thus Green yachts.

What's next? Green jets?

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